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10 things to know about style icon and World Champion high jumper Vashti Cunningham


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Photo: Nike
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As far as stylish athletes go, Vashti Cunningham may not be on your radar—yet—but the 19-year-old high jumper (and her streetwear-filled Instagram feed) should be.

Last year was major for the the Las Vegas native: She won gold at the World Indoor Championships (the youngest American to ever do so), decided to go pro, and signed a sponsorship deal with Nike. Then, she went on to compete for Team USA in the Rio Olympics (at a time when most of her peers were packing for their freshman year in college). 

The only thing stronger than her sports game right now? Possibly her athleisure one. Suffice if to say, whether its on the infield or IRL, when it comes to her fitness fashion, she sets the bar high. 

Keep reading for more intel on the Olympic athlete—from her wellness hacks to fave style trends. Hint: They involve lots of sneakers. 
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Photo: Instagram/@vashtizzle

1. She’s a serious sneakerhead

I’m actually always wearing sneakers—every single day. I’ll wear them with dresses, jeans, with anything, really. My favorites are Air Force 1s, and I also love mid-top styles and Jordan 1s. I wear white athletic socks with all of my sneakers, and those are inspired by old-school basketball players’ looks. I like that era, that idea of white-on-white socks and shoes. I wear a lot of white shoes—and occasionally black ones—but I do mix in colorful clothing, like yellow and orange pieces.

2. Her number one style influence is her father

I love to look back at old photos of my dad [Editor’s note: That would be Randall Cunningham, superstar NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings] to see what he used to wear when he was playing—they really knew how to dress well back in the day. 

3. Unsurprisingly, she draws fashion inspo from men’s wear (but with a twist)

I like how A$AP Rocky and Jaden Smith dress. They flood [roll up] their pants a lot, and I’m 6’ 1”, so my pants just naturally flood every single day.

4. Cunningham’s Team Sweatpants

If I’m training and going somewhere after, I’ll throw on a pair of joggers and bring a different pair of sneakers to create a casual look.

5. Her unexpected accessory of choice: fishnets—peep her campaign shot for Nike above

I used to wear fishnets under my basketball shorts.

“I’m actually always wearing sneakers—every single day. I’ll wear them with dresses, jeans, with anything, really.”

6. The track star finds modeling for Nike way scarier than high jumping

I’ve done a couple of shoots with them: One was a sports bra campaign, and another was for the Air VaporMax. It’s been fun, but it’d definitely be easier if I knew what I was doing! It’s been a bit nerve-wracking.

7. She likes to wear uniforms on and off the track

I shop at Urban Outfitters, Free People, Zara, and a lot at Goodwill. I used to wear basketball shorts and T-shirts or hoodies every single day. Then, I moved up to jeans and T-shirts. I don’t really remember when my style transformation occurred from there, but it happened really quickly.

8. Her go-to off-season sweat sesh still involves a lot of jumping

I like volleyball, and I’ll play it any chance I get—whenever it doesn’t interfere with my track schedule. I’ve been adding a lot of core work in my routine lately, too.

9. Her BFF is H2O

I drink a lot of water everyday—it’s the only thing I really drink. 

10. When it comes to her skin-care routine, she prefers baby steps to giant leaps

I actually just got a massage yesterday, and it felt great! I’ve never gotten a facial, but I’ve been wanting to try one.

Another way to channel a pro athlete: Work out to their favorite pump-up jams. Plus, check out the  wellness rundown on another Nike-repped Olympian, track-and-field star Sanya Richards Ross.